Upturn

Dec 13, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka saw more foreign visitors in November with Western Europe, a key generating market rallying 40 percent to drive total arrivals up by 20 percent, the tourism promotion office said. Arrivals from UK grew 53 percent to 7,938, Germany 24 to 4,005 while the Netherlands grew 85 percent to 1,551 helping boost Western European visitors to 17,925.

Western Europe is a key generating market for the island’s beleaguered leisure industry which has been hard hit by an upsurge in violence.

The industry and Sri Lanka Tourism, the country’s tourism promotion authority lobbied Western governments to relax travel advisories ahead of the winter season. November December and January are usually to best months for the island’s leisure industry.

But a spate of terrorist attacks in the capital Colombo had again upset sentiment.

Visitors from Eastern Europe more than doubled with arrivals from Russia growing 88 percent to 1,695 while other east European visitors increased 177 percent.

Chinese arrivals fell 34 percent to 1,110.

South Asia was largely flat at 13,257 with India and Pakistan falling but Maldives showing an upturn.

With November’s 45,102 visitors Sri Lank